Thunder Announces Winners of Black History Month Contest

OKLAHOMA CITY, Tuesday, February 24, 2009 – The Thunder announced the grand prize winners of the 2009 Thunder Black History Heroes Challenge. Fifth grader Lillian Lam, sixth grader Brooks Sawyer and senior Kayvon Taghizadeh were selected from more than 450 entries. Students who submitted entries honored heroes through artwork, poems, videos, crafts, essays and posters. “This is our first year for the contest and we were pleased with the response and talent in Oklahoma schools,” said Wyjuana Montgomery, coordinator of the Black History Month contest. “There were many great entries and we were impressed with all of them, three stood out and we are excited to congratulate them at tonight’s game.” Lam attends Sequoyah Elementary School in Oklahoma City and submitted a portrait of Clara Luper created with crayon, color pencil and water colors along with an original poem summarizing her perspective on Luper’s character and bravery for her civil rights work. Lam won the elementary school division of the contest. The second winner, Sawyer, attends Blanchard Public School in Blanchard and won the middle school category with an original poem in tribute to his football coach, Jason Carter. The Thunder’s high school winner was Taghizadeh who attends Southmoore High School in Moore. Taghizadeh’s narrated a video piece that included a slideshow presentation on Charles Hamilton Houston, a prominent African-American attorney who played a significant role in the Brown v. Topeka Board of Education case. Each winner received four lower level tickets to watch the Thunder take on the Lakers, recognition at center court during pregame, an autographed Thunder photo and a chance to meet players Desmond Mason and Chucky Atkins. Artwork that received Honorable Mentions included eleventh grader, Pedro Dove from Dove Science Academy who built a miniature, replica of the Rosa Park bus. Also, a billboard focusing on President Barack Obama and other African-American leaders, constructed by Darian Sanders, an eighth grader from Kipp Reach College Preparatory.